You may be aware of my passion for reading and for books. Ever since a young age, I would consume almost any kind of reading material that I could get my hands on. In fact, I was so passionate about reading, I would read newspapers to my grandfather after his eyes started to go. While that in itself might not be interesting, the newspapers weren’t in English, and I had no idea what I was saying. Today, a lot of my reading is done in other ways. I listen to a lot of audiobooks mostly because I just don’t have the time to leisurely read a physical book. That said, I still love anything associated with books – including iBooks.
Actually, Apple is changing the app, so it will no longer be called iBooks, but rather, just Books. You will have to wait until a later version of iOS is released. But, if you’re a developer, you can see some of those changes now. How this will unfold to the rest of us, is unknown. By that, I mean, will the update come from iOS 11.3, or will we have to wait for iOS 12 later this year.
I did say that I loved iBooks, and I still stand behind that statement. But, Apple was sued by the Department of Justice and publishers in 2012, for coming up with a scheme to raise the prices of e-books. Not cool, Apple. They had to pay $450 million as a result of this case and ended up giving up on the bookstore (for the most part). Which is why Amazon dominates the U.S. e-book market with an 83% share in the U.S. Well, that and all the other reasons Amazon dominates in general.
What changes will we see in the app? According to Bloomberg:
The new app, due to be released in coming months, will include a simpler interface that better highlights books currently being read and a redesigned digital bookstore that looks more like the new App Store launched last year, according to people familiar with its development. The revamped app in testing includes a new section called Reading Now and a dedicated tab for audio books, the people said.
The whole book service from Apple has remained largely unchanged for a number of years. Apple did move audiobooks from the Music app to the iBooks app – which makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, yes, it’s technically something audio. But it’s also an app so I’d like to see it in the iBooks (now Books) app, myself.
I am not going to get into a big rant about this, but apparently, the HomePod won’t be able to play purchased audiobooks, so Apple has its work cut out from them when it comes to integrating their ecosystem. What is your take on these changes? I’m happy to see that the app is getting a bit of a refresh. I am always happy when things change for the better or become streamlined in some kind of way. This is good news for Apple. I hope they keep up these kinds of developments.